This is quite the confection, but truly worth the effort. All of the elements of the dish can be prepared in advance for assembly at a later point. The meringues will keep for several days in an airtight container. The chestnut puree can be made and refrigerated the previous day as can the chocolate sauce.
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g egg whites
- 3 teaspoons cocoa
- 180g cooked chestnuts
- 40g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100ml milk
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 500ml softly whipped cream
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
- Pomegranate seeds or myrtle berries
- 225ml cream
- 150g chocolate 62% cocoa solids
- Preheat oven to 130c. Line an oven tray with parchment paper.
- Place sugar and egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl and whisk to a stiff peak. Drop two tablespoons of the meringue on the parchment paper in blobs.
- Fold the cocoa carefully but thoroughly into the remaining meringue and using a dessertspoon, shape ten little blobs onto the parchment paper.
- Use a teaspoon to make a little depression on top of each shape.
- Place in the preheated oven and cook for c 40 minutes. The meringues should lift away easily from the parchment paper when cooked. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely.
- Place the chestnuts in a small saucepan with the sugar, vanilla, milk and rum. Bring to a simmer and cook for about eight minutes, Mash the chestnuts with a fork as they cook. They will gradually break down into a coarse puree. Remove from the heat, transfer into a food processor and render to a smooth puree. Allow to cool completely.
- To assemble, place a generous teaspoon of the chestnut puree on top of each meringue. If the puree has become very firm, moisten it with a little milk to a consistency that is soft but will hold its shape. Coat each meringue with a cloak of softly whipped cream. I like to refrigerate the meringues now for up to two hours.
- Dust each meringue with cocoa powder and decorate with myrtle berries or pomegranate seeds.
- Place the two plain meringues in a mouli and dust the entire confection with a light covering of meringue snow.
- Serve with chocolate sauce.
- Place the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
- Stir until the chocolate is melted completely into the cream and a rich glossy sauce is achieved.
- Remove from the heat.